Read on for information about some of the fundraising I have organised and been involved in...
This international women's day...
UPDATE - October 2020: Due to pregnancy it was not possible for me to complete this years Ration Challenge, but I will be back in force next time and
with YOUR help, I hope we can raise lots of money for refugees!
I’m taking the Ration Challenge and eating the same food rations as a Syrian refugee for one week. Will you sponsor me?
Why I'm doing it
I am taking the Ration Challenge again this year to show refugees I stand with them in solidarity. I hope to raise awareness of the conditions in which people exist and to provide vital emergency food, hygiene kits and support desperately needed by so many. For those curious about what this entails; for one week I will eat only the same food rations as our Syrian sisters and brothers are given in refugee camps in Jordan. This food is approximately the same amount of ingredients one would use to prepare a small and very basic family meal.
As the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates the extreme social, class, racial and economic inequalities across our communities and unmasks the injustice in our society, we grow increasingly aware that so many of us are only a hair's breadth away from finding ourselves in similar circumstances. Campaigns such as this are needed now more than ever to raise support for refugee communities, some of the hardest hit by Coronavirus.
As the descendent of refugees, I understand the struggle and challenges faced by those forced to leave their homes, friends, families and communities, enduring the most unimaginable hardship, fear, danger, abuse and exploitation upon their journeys to find safety and sanctuary.
I have visited refugee camps in different countries and believe it is impossible for most to imagine and understand the day to day reality faced by the many millions who dwell within, exposed to the elements and often extreme weather conditions, with little to no access to shelter, running water, food, electricity, living in unsafe and unhygienic conditions without the everyday supplies, comforts and necessities many in the UK take for granted. Most arrive with just the clothes upon their back and rely on charity and aid to survive and provide food, warmth and shelter.
Living on rations is a deeply humbling, challenging, evocative, exhausting and enraging experience and one I would urge you all to try. One realises the true value of food and is reminded how privileged and lucky we are to have access to such plentiful supplies when so many go without. It is enraging as In the UK we throw away 10.2m tonnes of food waste each year (of which 7.1m tonnes is from households - 108kg of food per person per year!), creating more than 20m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the same emissions as 3.5m cars. It is exhausting as living on practically rice and flour alone increasingly affects one’s physical and cognitive function, rapidly depleated of nutrients, energy plummets as all sources are cut from your diet and hunger becomes ever present.
We must also consider that the food rations I will eat (a genuine issue food ration box) is made for one person, yet they are split often between many people and sometimes entire families. The additional extras such as the rice and flour allowances / vouchers included in my box and the awards I may win the more money is raised (very small quantities of spice, salt, vegetable, milk, tea, coffee, sugar) would NOT usually be provided. This highlights how very little refugees are expected to survive on and one can never thrive on such supplies so please help me with my challenge and help us to provide more ration boxes as there is a desperate shortage.
Whilst doing the Ration Challenge last year was one of the physically hardest things that I have ever done, it was also one of my proudest achievements and I thank everyone who donated and supported the fundraiser. Together we raised just under £1200! xxx I am hoping to do this again, BUT it is ONLY possible with YOUR support. £314 is enough to feed two refugees for an entire year, if we raised £1570 we could feed TEN people for an entire YEAR! So please dig deep and share whatever you can spare - it really does, can and will make the world of difference.
Finally (if you have read this far, good on ya - not long to go now…!), I understand the current financial circumstances many of us are experiencing but whatever you can spare, even 50p/£1 would be amazing, much appreciated and valuable contribution to this fundraising campaign. so please dig deep and share whatever you can spare - it really does, can and will make the world of difference.
Thank you all!
With love, peace and in solidarity forever, Bethany Elen x
Throughout the beginning of lockdown I held a weekly gig 'Fireside Sessions' and raised money for the `Chopwell and Rowlands Gill Live at Home Scheme' a lifeline for so many in my local community. Thanks to your generous and kind donations together we raised ...£425!
Hi, I am Bethany Elen Coyle, a community musician based in a lovely little village Chopwell (AKA: Little Moscow - research why, we've a fascinating history!). I lead the awesome Canny Chanters and along with so many in our community, am now self isolating as instructed by the Government to ensure public health during this Coronavirus Crisis.
I want to share my music to raise money to support the crucial work of the wonderful and dedicated staff and volunteer team at the Chopwell & Rowland's Gill Live at Home Scheme. Tune in live here: https://www.facebook.com/bethanyelenmusic/
ANY thing and EVERY thing you can afford to donate will go to funding the work of this local charity, which offers a lifeline for so many. Due to current restrictions it is providing a crucial telephone befriending service to our beloved elders as we face the Coronacrisis together. I hope you will donate whatever you can afford and support people in our community to support each other. Thank you.
"MHA Chopwell & Rowland's Gill Live at Home Scheme is a local charity supporting people to live later life well through provision of community activities and befriending to help reduce loneliness and isolation. At the current time, the need for this is greater than ever before as groups have forced to close- a lifeline for many of our members. We are very much on the end of the phone for our members, giving them regular calls and being that familiar voice with the help of our fantastic volunteers."